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Often known as the Capital of Peace, Geneva is known for many things to many people. It’s the epicenter of international diplomacy, the hub of watchmaking, and it also happens to serve the best cheese fondues. Thanks to its rich history dating over 4,000 years, the multi-faceted city is home to numerous well-preserved museums, monuments and architectural treasures, making it a haven for cultural buffs. Just last year, it was crowned Europe’s Leading City Break Destination.
At the top of any itinerary should include a visit to Lake Geneva and its iconic fountain, Flower Clock in the English Garden, Reformation Wall as well as the birthplace of the United Nations. After the day’s activities, it’s best to kick back to enjoy the picturesque views of the mountains and lakes, all in the comfort of your own suite. And while price is an indicator, we’ve also included a quaint little hotel that very much feels like home. Here are our top picks.
1. Mandarin Oriental Geneva
Price: CHF22,000 (S$31,100)
Luxury hotel chain Mandarin Oriental is known for its world-class hotels and resorts spread over 25 countries across four continents. In particular, Mandarin Oriental Geneva is dear to the city. Thought to be the first luxury hotel built in Europe after World War II, it’s now recognised as one of the city’s historical heritage landmarks.
Designed by French artist Sybille de Margerie, the 505sqm Grand Presidential suite is accessed via a private elevator and can accommodate 10 guests comfortably in five bedrooms. The suite is nothing short of lavish, the master bedroom can quite easily be a private retreat, with its ensuite marble bathroom fitting a walk-in shower, stand-alone bath, and a Jacuzzi. Given the separate dining room for up to 10 guests, and expansive living area, the suite is perfect for those who wish to hold intimate parties. You can also enjoy a spectacular 360 degree-view of Geneva’s old town, the River Rhône and the Swiss Alps. Candlelight dinners can be arranged at the 147sqm private terrace where your other half and you can enjoy a glass of champagne or two while breathing in crisp fresh air. And when it gets a tad too chilly, warm up in the living area that’s been fitted with a fireplace.
Quai Turrettini 1
2. Hotel Les Armures
Price: CHF1,030 (S$1,456)
Arguably the most intimate luxury hotel on the list with just 32 rooms, Hotel Les Armures offers a refined 17th century setting with Medieval stonework, all set within a 13th century home. The hotel is situated in an old town, away from the hustle and bustle of the city, making it a quaint little stop for the night. And despite the lack of amenities in this Borgeat-Granges-run property, everything is made up for by their personalised service, right down to the hotel staff treating each guest like family, right down to remembering preferences.
The Junior Prestige Suite features intricate details such as wood-beamed ceilings, faux-fur throws and stonewalls that offer the excitement of staying at a property with several centuries of existence. The bathroom is hewn from marble and offers an abundance of space with a separate toilet as well as bath and shower that comes with Marie Danielle toiletries that perfume the room with a light rose scent. And take it from us when we tell you that the bathroom provides a glimpse of heaven; a heated tower rail greets you with a warm fluffy towel, right as you step out of the shower.
Rue du Puits-Saint-Pierre 1
3. Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues Geneva
Price: CHF14,000 (S$19,800)
Set in the heart of Geneva with views of a lake and the courtyard, Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues Geneva has been welcoming guests to its premises since 1834. The historic building has kept its structure, while the interior has undergone facelifts and is now equipped with the latest in technology.
The 306sqm Royal Suite, designed by renowned interior architect Pierre-Yves Rochon, provides an extremely warm welcome with high ceilings and tall windows, allowing an abundance of natural light to flood the sleeping, dining, and living areas. With impeccable French furnishings echoing the style of Versailles, the suite has a spacious marble foyer, a living room with formal dining room that can accommodate up to eight guests, an adjacent pantry, a parlour and a high-tech office that doubles as a library.
Our favourite hideout in the suite is most definitely the marble master bathroom. The sanctuary boasts a window-side bathtub offering lake views, an LCD flat-screen television perfect for rom-coms, and even steam-resistant mirrors. Now, how’s that for a perfect way to unwind?
Quai des Bergues 33
4. Beau-Rivage Hotel Geneva
Price: CHF6,000 (S$8,482)
The five star classic luxury hotel was founded by the Mayer family in 1865, and celebrated its 150th anniversary this year. Till today, it remains an independent family business, welcoming notable guests to include celebrities and members of the Royal family.
Offering a panoramic view of the lake, Mont-Blanc and the old town, the 187sqm Imperial Suite accommodates up to six guests, and includes two bedrooms, two bathrooms (one of which includes a whirlpool bath and a hammam) and a separate dressing room. Common areas extend to a wraparound balcony and a generous living area that’s decorated with original antique furniture. Equipped with the latest technologies such as flat-screen LCD television, you may also comb through the suite’s extensive music and video library featuring 200 audio CDs and 50 films. Connecting rooms are available on request.
Quai du Mont-Blanc 13
5. Hotel d'Angleterre
Price: CHF 6,200 (S$8,765)
Famed for its excellent service and meticulous attention to detail, distinguished guests including diplomats and heads of states are drawn to Hotel d’Angleterre for its space, privacy and most importantly, high security bulletproof glass windows.
Offering panoramic views of the Lake Geneva and Mont Blanc, the crowning glory of the hotel is the 110sqm Presidential Suite. The suite’s warm creamy hue and contrasted with royal blue velvety curtains, and matching plush armchairs and throw pillows. Upon arrival, you’re greeted with a bottle of VIP prestige Champagne, a selection of homemade mignardises and a basket of fresh fruits. The suite can be extended to link up to four additional bedrooms should you wish to host additional guests. Special amenities and services include shoe polishing, duvet, pillow and internal soaps selections, and an individually-controlled heating and cooling system.
Quai du Mont-Blanc 17